Chinese Brands

Huawei Logo

Image via Wikipedia

“When will the Chinese develop a truly global brand? is a question that is frequently asked, and one that I have been asked to address with a group of quality specialists in Beijing later this week. With this topic already on my mind, the headline for a Forbes video on Huawei immediately caught my attention: “Will Huawei Be The First Global Brand From China?”

The video provides an inside look at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, and the executives who are interviewed make some compelling arguments. Most of Huawei’s revenues are from outside China, and the company is now entering the giant U.S. market for telecom equipment. Huawei has 28,000 international staff from 150 countries and has become a formidable competitor to all of the global telecom equipment providers. A 2009 Daily Beast article made many of the same points, and said that Huawei may be the “best company that you’ve never heard of.”

No doubt, Huawei is a great company, but it’s not one that I would have picked as the first Chinese company to develop a global image. After all, Huawei’s products are sold to other companies and businesses and the company seldom comes in direct contact with the consumer. I would have thought that some of China’s more consumer-oriented companies would be better candidates. When asked to name the five most famous China brands, my colleagues concurred. Names like China Mobile, Lenovo, Tsingtao, Haier and ICBC topped their lists.

In June, the Hurun Research institute released the “Hurun Most Valuable Home-grown Brands List 2011,” a comprehensive ranking of the 100 most valuable home grown brands from mainland China. According to the Hurun Report, the average top 100 brand in China has increased 27 percent in value from last year, and there are now nine Chinese brands that are worth upwards of $10 billion. ICBC is China’s most valuable home-grown brand, worth $43.6 billion, while Baidu is China’s most valuable privately owned brand, worth $24.4 billion.

The top “18 Booming Chinese Brands” that Business Insider believes could take over the world include nine financial organizations — ICBC, China Life, China Merchants Bank, Agricultural Bank, Bank of China, China Pacific Insurance, Ping An, China Life and China Construction Bank; three internet companies — Baidu, Taobao, Tencent QQ; two spirits companies — Wuliangye Yibin and Kweichow Moutai Company; two telecom companies — China Mobile and China Telecom; one cigarette company — Chunghwa; and one beverage company — Wahaha.

If you live outside China and don’t recognize some of these names, well, you get the point. Local companies are building valuable brands in China’s growing consumer market that are simply not recognized outside the country because their main market is China. Like all things related to China, though, this also will change.

How do the top Chinese brands stack up against the leading global brands? BrandZ and Millward Brown Optimor calculated the value of the 100 most valuable global brands in their report on the subject. A dozen Chinese brands made the top 100, and four were within the top 30.

China Mobile ranked ninth with a brand value of $57.3 billion, according to Brand Z, just ahead of venerable General Electric which finished tenth; ICBC ranked eleventh with a brand value of $44.4 billion; China Construction Bank ranked 24th on the list with a brand value of $25.5 billion; and Baidu ranked twenty-ninth with a brand value of $22.6 billion. Apple, everyone’s favorite, topped the list with a brand value of $153.3 billion, a stunning 84 percent increase from last year, according to the definitive list from BrandZ.

Of the top 30 global brands, more than half belonged to American companies. That makes sense given that the United States is the single largest consumer market in the world, and has been for some time. As China’s consumer markets continue to grow, however, look for more Chinese brands to make the list.

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!